US SOCOM Seeks New .300 Blackout M4A1 Personal Defense Weapon Conversion Kit

The US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is seeking something a little smaller than its existing M4A1 and Mk.18 carbines: The command just released a request for information (RFI) to the industry seeking proposals for conversion kits for M4A1 Carbine receivers that turn the weapons into sub-6lb, sub-26″ .300 Blackout caliber weapons. The RFI was released on March 9th, and submitting companies have until 3 PM Eastern on April 10th to respond. The RFI’s requirements read:

PDW Kit specifics: The kit must be adaptable to the standard M4A1 lower receiver, any modification to the lower receiver must be reversible and nonpermanent. The kit must be in .300 Blackout (BLK) cartridge, total system weight, including the M4A1 lower in not to exceed 5.5lbs. Length with stock extended not to extend 26″ length with stock collapsed or folded shall be 17″ (T), 15″ (O) and a height not to exceed 7.5″. Weapon shall be fully functional when collapsed or folded. Kit should include a 5.56mm barrel that can be changed from .300 BLK to 5.56mm in less than 3 minutes. Accuracy shall be 3.0 MOA (T), 2.0 MOA (O) @100 yds. and 5.0 MOA (T), 3.0 MOA (O) @ 300 yds. both in .300 BLK supersonic.

To meet these requirements, it is necessary to either dramatically shorten or do away with the AR-15’s receiver extension and buffer, even when using very short barrels. Colt’s 10.3″ barreled Sub Compact Weapon (SCW) for example, is 28.5″/30.25″ (collapsed/extended) with the stock unfolded, and 23.5″ with the stock folded, meaning that this weapon could not meet SOCOM’s requirements except with a 3.8″ barrel! Even SIG’s MCX, which uses no buffer tube and has a fully folding stock, would need a barrel just 6.5″ long to meet this requirement, and it would still struggle to meet the 5.5lbs weight limit.

In other words, these are extremely tough requirements to meet for an M4 conversion kit, especially since submissions must be made before April 10th! Best of luck to any companies who decide to make a submission!

H/T, soldiersystems.net





Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Jared Vynn

    Using a maximum cqb stock should allow for a barrel of up to 9″, about 7″ from the upper and 10″ from the stock fully extended.

    • Wouldn’t meet the folded length requirement.

  • Guy Slack

    7.5″ barrel and LWRCI compact stock.

    • Still too long.

      • MikeSmith13807

        The more I think about this, the more confused I am. Some of those requirements seem ridiculously unachievable. What rifle is 15″ with stock folded (yet still fully functional) and still accurate at 300 yards? It feels like either whoever wrote this had no clue what they were talking about or I’m missing something…

        • You need no buffer tube, a folding stock, and a very short barrel to make 17 inches.

          The SIG MCX can meet the length requirements with a 6.5″ barrel, for example.

          • Sam

            Can the MCX meet the length requirements when accounting for the 1.5″ adapter you’d have to install on the end to meet the “M4 Receiver” requirement? Also, the MCX is likely too heavy.

      • Guy Slack

        Which PDW stock is short enough?

  • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

    what that HK416 PDW with the 9.3 inch barrel an collapsing stock, Hk could chamber it in 300 blackout and have a real winner. they could submit the stock and upper combo

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3301f6a43289e9d01027eb5802d2c4c0a87c9fb19368d88a6d76e3523ad3d663.jpg

    • Jared Vynn

      I think any piston upper is going to be too heavy.

      • FixedItFerYa

        *any HK long gun or derivative is going to be too heavy

    • I think the roughly twelve miles of cheesegraters would keep it from meeting the weight requirements.

  • DanGoodShot

    Hey, I’m stocked about this. At the very least it will spur little innovation. Personally, I love playin’ around with 300 blk. AND I so happen to be starting my own little pdw blk project. So, I’m all for this.

    • I M Deplorable

      I was trying to figure out how to suppress my CX4 Storm and realized I could just rebarrel one of my beater ARs and use my .30 can. Fun times!

    • gunsandrockets

      stocked? or stoked?

      • DanGoodShot

        Ha! Grammererr

    • Scott Gray

      “A little innovation” have you seen Frontier Tactical and there War Lock?

      • DanGoodShot

        Yeah. It’s very nice. But not at the $$$ their asking. I can just build a whole damn upper at that price. Once you add in the barrel, gas tube, gas block, handguard and muzzle device of your added set up. Your talking the price of almost 2 whole uppers. No thank you. Their asking $500 for that system. It’s NOT worth it. If you have 4 or more calibers your going to use. Maybe. A slight maybe. Most people are looking for two maybe 3 calibers. At that price they are out of their mind. I am very familiar with machining, material costs, r&d and all thats associated with making products. That price is straight-up price gouging. They really think they have the Holy Grail of gun parts. At half the price it would be. If they cut the price of that thing at half they would make a killing. They priced themselves right into a niche market. They have a product that a lot more people would be interested in if it wasn’t priced as ridiculous as that is. Sorry… Didn’t mean to rant. I just hate when I see really nice products like that prohibitively priced. From a business aspect as well, just too many people try to go for the huge profit. When in reality, you can make a lot more by keeping your prices low and selling more. It’s better for the customer it’s better for the longevity of your business and better for your pocket. It’s better for everybody’s pocket.

        • Scott Gray

          I just looked at it and when I built three complete uppers with an optic for each upper the savings was the cost of 1 1/2 optics. But your point is well taken for those who just want a take down. And if you do 2 calibers the price would be the same as if you did 2 complete uppers with an optic for each.

          • DanGoodShot

            I did want a system like this to go between 556 & 300 as well as the ability to stuff it in a backpack. I looked at all options available. Out of them all the war lock would be my preferred, minus that price. Also, after looking into it I came to the conclusion that having a quick-change barrel is great for compact storage, but I would have to re-zero my optic every time I switch calibers. That loses the convenience of it and left me at the conclusion I was better off just switching uppers with dedicated Optics remaining on each upper. If the price was to come down to $150 and those Barrel caps were priced around $20, I’d be all over it. I’m sure so would many other people. But this is the Firearms industry where they will charge you $10 for a screw that you can get at Home Depot for $0.50. LOL

    • Ben Pottinger

      I had a 300blk upper I built when I first got my aac 308 suppressor. I loved how it sounded but I quickly reached an unfortunate conclusion. Since I also own a MP5-PDW SBR I was forced to realize that the 300blk was just a much more expensive to shoot subgun with no real gain. Sure, if I was often shooting 100 yards + while subsonic or if I was actually killing things other then paper or steel plates its a much better round then 9mm. But I wasn’t. So for paper punching it’s just a very expensive way to shoot subsonic. As a reloader I was really hoping we would see some heavy bullet options for 300blk that were cheaper but that hasn’t happened, at least not the last time I checked.

      The problem is you need a 220gr+ 30 caliber bullet to go subsonic but most of the 30 caliber bullets that size are either expensive hunting bullets or their expensive long range bullets. Either way their expensive.

      • DanGoodShot

        First, lets be honest here. Are any of them a “cheaper way to punch holes in paper”? For that. I’ll just poke it with a stick. You don’t need 220+ to go subsonic. I’ve got a really good 175gr load running about 1005 average. I get the 175s mil surp pull downs or blems. Cheap as hell. You just have to be patient. Shop around and be ready to jump when they come up cause they go quick. Their very accurate out to atleast 150. I’m getting about 1.5-2 moa out of em’.(thats as far as I have for room.sad.)If blk keeps catching on more you’ll see prices drop more for some factory loaded stuff. Also, with the new WH admin. your going to see prices drop across the board as the buying frenzy of the big “O” years wines down.
        As far as the rest, well. Thats subjective. I don’t have an mp5 and most blk shooters don’t either. For me as someone who loves load development as much as shooting the stuff 300 is my favorite. 9mm isn’t going to give you anywhere near the amount of crap you can come up with for blk. From light 90g whizzers up to 220+gr thumbers with everything in between. For someone like me, it’s a wet dream!

        • Ben Pottinger

          I didn’t say it was a bad round. I think it’s great. It’s just not even remotely close to the price of 9mm subsonic, even with the cheapest blems you can find. Load development is fun, but I do that for my 308 plenty, including subsonic. I’m just saying, after having both and having a limited income, it just made more sense to sell off the 300blk SBR setup and spend it on something else since I already had a great SBR subgun for subsonic stuff.

          • DanGoodShot

            Like I said. Subjective. I’m not looking to split hairs, nor argue. I didn’t think you were knocking it. Just pointing out how it can be done cheaper and the versatility. Yes, 9 millimeter is cheap. If you want to buy a 9mm MP5. Or you can buy just a blk upper. Also, 300 Blk certainly reaches out a heck of a lot farther when needed. It’s all about what setup you want. For me, 300 covers sbr and 308 for my needs. It all comes down to what the individual wants. Hens, subjective in that respect.

        • Greg Beals

          *They’re

      • cruzo1981

        Then and than are two different words, but you ate right a out 300 being expensive.

  • Steve Clark

    I LOVE my 300BLK SBR.

  • Petto

    Didn’t they already use Honey Badger? you know the first AAC .300 blk pdw

    • Jared Vynn

      It is too long and heavy for their current requirements.

      • Petto

        Hmm interesting

    • kalashnikev

      Nope.

  • FT_Ward

    Clearly whoever wrote the RFI and set the timeline had an existing weapon in mind. The RFI will have been written specifically to exclude other weapons that would be suitable for the role.

    Whenever you read about DOD’s budget not being sufficient keep in kind it has enough cash for nice to have projects like this.

    • GD Ajax

      Which is why it’ll be canceled when the rifle they didn’t have mind wins like last time.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Was LVAWS canceled?

    • kalashnikev

      MRP

    • Bierstadt54

      They have cash for some conversion kits. So do I. It’s not the same as a wing of F-35’s.

  • noob
    • DW

      NBR

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      For Spec Ops that take place inside a size medium Wendys french fry container.

    • iksnilol

      Make it in .458 socom or something with ginormous bullet and little powder. And a can of course.

      60 gram bullets at 150 meters per second should be pretty quiet.

      • David B

        60 gram? 150 meters?? Sir, it appears you need to brush up on your American.

      • Steven L

        60 gram = 924 grains

    • Brett

      You never go full sbr!

  • MikeSmith13807

    Dump the requirement for M4 compatibility and the Desert Tech MDR-C can give them a 10″ barrel with an overall length around 20″ with stock “extended”. They could add a Delta P Brevis suppressor and still be under 26″.

    • Jared Vynn

      I have a feeling that it would be way too​ heavy. The 300 blk 16″ is 8.4 lbs after all.

      • MikeSmith13807

        You are right, it wouldn’t meet their weight requirement but I’m having trouble imagining any weapon that could fit all their requirements without a ridiculously short barrel… or am I missing something?

        • int19h

          5.5 lbs is not hard to hit for an AR with a short barrel.

          • MikeSmith13807

            Sure… But what about the rest of the requirements? Function while folded?

          • int19h

            That should be possible. There are some DI ARs out there that put the recoil spring inside the receiver – e.g. Extar EXP-556 pistol. Thus, they don’t need a buffer tube, and can have a folding stock instead.

            Coincidentally, EXP is 3 lbs unloaded, and it has a 7.5″ barrel. Most of the weight savings are from an all-polymer receiver, but switching to aluminum would surely still allow for a weight under 5.5 lbs.

            However, OAL is 18″ (to remind, that’s a pistol, without a stock of any kind). It’s really the OAL that’s the killer requirement here. It’s just too ridiculously short for a non-bullpup.

    • CommonSense23

      You mean a gun that is vapor ware?

      • MikeSmith13807

        hehe you could get away with that last year… it’s becoming less and less legitimate lately. Yeah, it’s not “out” yet but it sure feels like we are getting close, if you have been paying attention.

        • CommonSense23

          Um, how many times have they pushed back release date again? That’s not even acting like this is a proven weapon, with a company that can even mass produce enough and meet quality control.

          • MikeSmith13807

            Ah, come on–to be fair, they have given us plenty of indication that they have a successful design ready for production. All I see are expected growing pains. Sure, their marketing/sales/customer relations efforts could use some improvement, but that doesn’t translate into vaporware.

          • CommonSense23

            So even if they bring this to market. Which they are already years late. That’s not even taking into consideration we have no real world knowledge of how well it works. Can DT actually pump out enough to fill a government contract. Can they keep up quality control.
            It’s fan boy logic suggesting waiting on a gun that doesn’t exist from a company that has never mass produced a semi automatic rifle.

          • MikeSmith13807

            Perhaps you misunderstood my initial comment… I wasn’t implying DT had a gun ready to go for SOCOM to start using. I was making the point that nothing other than a compact bullpup could get close to meeting all of their requirements. DT just happens to be the only manufacturer even talking about making such a gun.

          • CommonSense23

            And you completely mis understand. You are shilling for a manufacture that hasn’t even brought a semi auto rifle to the market.
            You realize how often people have talked about some company bringing the next game changing weapon to the market. ACR, Honey Badger. Or how about the new round that is going to dethrone 5.56. 6.5 or 6.8. That all have fallen to the wayside and only place you see them is some technothriller or video game.

        • iksnilol

          You’ve been saying that for years.

    • The only realistic way such a thing could conceivably happen is if Desert Tech licensed the design to a real firearms manufacturer. It’s a legitimately great design and I wish them all the luck in the world in finally getting it onto the market sometime this decade, but if they had the manufacturing ability to meet large orders the MDR-C would have been flying off store shelves three years ago.

  • E.D. Sartin

    Maybe an upper with dual recoil springs like an AR18????

    • Rey

      Haha The MCX…

  • Ευστάθιος Παλαιολόγος

    How big are the benefits regarding weight/length or caliber, especially over the Mk-18 or other such 5,56 weapons, to justify such a procurement and the associated “complexity” that puts into the system.
    I mean what more will the asked weapon/caliber give over current weapons/calibers?
    Honest question

    flanker7

    • CommonSense23

      Guys not needed to carry both a MP5SD and a MK18 at the same time.

      • Ευστάθιος Παλαιολόγος

        Thank you. So, the need for a suppressed (and subsonic) weapon but capable of longer ranges.
        Why then not replace all with 300?

        • CommonSense23

          Exactly. One having to carry two weapons is a major pain on just the extra weight and space issues. But it also allows you not to have to worry about random dudes just popping up on patrol and either trying unsling the desired weapon.
          Cause 5.56 is still a better round unless you need to consistently shoot people really quiet.

          • Ευστάθιος Παλαιολόγος

            Having to haul around two weapons too often I see the reasoning
            Thank you sir

      • NukeItFromOrbit

        Why not just put a suppressor on the Mk.18?

        • CommonSense23

          The 18s were suppressed. But when you are trying to ambush guys without alerting the local QRF a klick away, or the whole village you are in. The only two guns that have been available to white side of Socom has been the MK23/24s and the MP5SD that can truly be quiet. The MK18 suppressor work great for what they are. Not deafening and blinding you. And making it really hard for the guy you are shooting at to effectively shoot back, especially at night. The 300BLK provides two major advantages. It allows you to react to a situation without having to pull a second weapon out or patrol with your pistol or sub gun out and rifle slung. And if somehow you find hey things went loud any way. Well you are a mag change or a couple trigger pulls away from rifle caliber ballistics. That’s the beauty of 300BLK you can get pistol level suppression and rifle caliber ballistics all in the the same gun. Though looking at this requirement it seems they are really pushing the PDW concept which Socom is overall lacking a suitable weapon for the entire organization.

          • NukeItFromOrbit

            So it’s just a somewhat more convenient way of getting a suppressed weapon with subsonic ammunition for minimal noise? I’m presuming subsonic 5.56mm doesn’t perform all that well, high velocity being key key to its lethality in the first place.

            I suppose it makes sense as long as nobody screws up and loads the wrong caliber ammo into their rifle.

            As for a PDW, I wouldn’t be surprised if other weapons that qualify (MP7 for example) are in their inventory. Yet there is really no “one size fits all” solution for SOCOM. The best approach for them is the arsenal room concept.

          • CommonSense23

            Yeah 5.56 subsonic ain’t that great. And good luck setting up a gun that can fire subsonic 5.56 rounds and switch to supers without any change to the gun.
            The MP7 is only in the JSOC inventory currently. And that round used does not inspire confidence. The problem is with the MP5s getting more and more rare. And with Socom deploying more and more people to low vis deployments a PDW concept does make sense. Gone are the days where everyone was deploying to the same location and living together with proper set ups in a warzone. It’s lucky to get a combat deployment these days. Now you are splitting up A teams and platoons to as little as 3 guys doing fid in a country with a possible insurgency going on. Or just in countried with extemem criminal problems with guys possibly living in a hotel room. Having something that can fit in a low vis small backpack yet offer more firepower than a pistol is a critical need.

          • NukeItFromOrbit

            I’m not familiar with firing subsonic 5.56mm ammunition, what about it prevents a rapid switch? Does the gas system need adjustment for the gun to cycle properly or something?

  • kalashnikev

    It appears to be wired for the LMT MRP. “Kit should include a 5.56mm barrel that can be changed from .300 BLK to 5.56mm in less than 3 minutes.”

    • Doesn’t even come close to meeting the length requirements.

  • Ark

    Quick-change barrel seems like an unnecessary requirement.

    Though, now that I think about it, with the right kind of handguard and my tools at the ready, I could probably swap a regular AR barrel in under three minutes…

    • I M Deplorable

      Bud’s gun shop has a discreet carry kit with takedown free-float handguard.

    • Scott Gray

      Frontier Tactical does it in under 10 seconds with there War Lock.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    I miss the all people around telling everyone how 6.8SPC is the better caliber and how 300blk is going no where.

    • Evan Ferguson

      Agreed. Most of them knock the long range ballistics, which has no relevance on the platform. When was the last time these same critics brought out an MP5 and tried shooting at 400m? Just because there are 16″ 300blk rifles, does not mean that’s what they’re designed around. My impression of 300blk comes from exposure to Aberdeen testing information and real world uses of SMGs and SBR machine guns, and the 300blk really fills a huge void in between the two, while besting both.

      • hikerguy

        Although never developed beyond vaporware, Magpul’s design for a compact bullpup, the PDR, would have been the ideal platform for this. Its projected weight (5.5 pounds) and length of 19.5 inches would have met the requirements. Added with a stock variable extension,like the VHS 2 and the .300 SLAP round (or regular high velocity round) it would be a good PDW. And, of course, don’t forget the supressed mode. Yes, do not remind me it’s a bullpup and not cool (even though I think it is) LOL.

        • Bad Doge

          As cool as it is, it still doesn’t meet the M4A1 lower receiver requirement.

          • hikerguy

            True, but it seems a shame not to give a great concept a chance. I do agree with the idea of familiarity, though.

          • Eric X Ericx

            True on that part.
            Honestly, i do not see a viable way with the traditional M4 format (specifically the receiver extension) meeting the OAL requirement without a <4" barrel.
            I have a little homebrewed "Honey Badger" with an 8.5" bbl… the performance, particularly out to 300m is really impressive (comparable to a full-sized AK). However, 8.5" is as short as I would take the barrel. Mine has a pistol length gas system and has some cyclic issues with subsonic when NOT using a can. Otherwise, all loads 100% (should mention I do use a hydraulic buffer which might take a little energy out of the subs when not using a can).
            The only way I could see this concept working is to use a SIG/ZM type of internal spring and a side folder. Even a PDW type stock would be too long.
            If only they did away with the "M4 lower" thing, the Bushmaster ARM could be the perfect solution as hickerguy said with a MP7 type folding grip, no-swivel receiver and a picatinny on top for an optic or BUIS (better yet, integral BUIS like the Tavor).

    • gunsandrockets

      The accuracy, system weight, M4 receiver and maximum length requirements seem sensible and demonstrate the utility of the .300 cartridge. But the rest of the requirements seems like extreme gold-plating, such as the folding stock requirements and quick change barrel.

      • Wow!

        It’s not that big of an engineering feat. Off the top of my head ZM300 and Serbu has a folding stock without disrupting the function. Quick change barrels already exist with the DOLOS, but you could probably make a simpler design on the upper receiver, maybe similar to the ARES Shrike (now Fight lite MCR) where it is just a hole drilled into the barrel trunnunion and a notched spring loaded tab that snaps it in place. And of course, the Ruger 10/22, ACR, and Windrunner ratchet style takedowns are an easy but surefire way to get repeatable accuracy.

    • Brett

      We got to stop meeting like this…on middle ground…where we agree.

    • NukeItFromOrbit

      It is the better caliber from a ballistics standpoint.

    • Squirreltakular

      Yeah, I definitely thought the comments were going to be a much bigger $hitshow than this. Bravo, everyone.

  • Vet for Trump

    Government specs aren’t always made by someone who knows what they are doing.

    • Alternately, they’re written by someone who knows in advance that a certain company– one with, say, a robust slush fund and a willingness to plan ahead– already has a product ready to roll which meets specs that are deliberately designed to be impossible for any other company to meet in such a short timeframe.

  • Aono

    This is LMTs moment to release an LM8PDW300 with MLOK so they can make weight. They already hit 24.5″ OAL with 10.5″ barrel. That and a MARS-L lower and Bob’s your uncle.

    • They can’t meet the length requirements.

      • Aono

        Ah, I misread 24.5″ extended, 17″ collapsed.

        This can only mean one thing: VZ58 Compact in 300.

        • MemorableC

          Missing the AR lower requirement then

  • Ed

    They tried this before. Industry couldn’t do it. SOCOM is blowing smoke again.

  • Raven

    Baaaaad idea. Think about how many times people have KBed their 5.56 rifles by loading .300BLK by accident already.

    • CommonSense23

      Military has been running 300BLK for a while now. Hasnt been a issue.

      • Dual sport

        Enlighten us. Sources?

      • milesfortis

        And certain units have an ‘incentive plan’ that deals quite intensively when things like that happen.

    • ironked

      That was going to be my comment. i agree, if this isn’t a fairy tale wish list, it’s an RFP with a specific product in mind.

    • int19h

      I think USSOCOM of all people can figure that out.

  • lanndnd

    Mr Bullpup says “hi”

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      Id like to see that conversion kit.

  • N

    Lol, this is insane, out of such a short barrel even the swept volume of .300blk is not enough and burning is not completed => a ton of flash, blast, lower energy.

  • iksnilol

    Wouldn’t an AR upper iwth a 8 inch barrel work? IIRC a receiver is like 20 cm long + a 20 cm barrel + a 16 cm stock (a PDW type stock should work).

    • palana

      A F90 rifle with integrally suppressed upper could probably reach 18 inches or less. Bullpup is the way to go, as I also see it being a better rifle for non-frontline forces to have, as the suppression will increase their combat performance (less noise) and give them a chance to elude enemy capture by having a capable supressed weapon.

  • Rey

    This seems like the MCX is only workable option. Screw it. MCX with shorty Lancer handguards.

  • adverse4

    The next battle rifle will be a pistol.

    • Dude

      I get the ironie, but this is an PDW not a “Battle Rifle” …

    • Only if it can fire General Purpose, Armor-Piercing, Rubber Ricochet, Incendiary, Grenade, High Explosive, or Heat Seeker rounds selected by voice command.

  • gunsandrockets

    Maybe not these exact requirements or user, but the notion of the .300 employed as a PDW seems very practical to me.

    Essentially producing a shorter, M1 carbine with optical sights and exterior ballistics that equals M-43 7.62x39mm ball ammo.

    • N

      Actually for this use a new cartridge would be much better. A thicker diameter for more swept volume for this insanly short barrel. Otherwise Flash and Blast is too much and energy is lower.

      • mig1nc

        .338 Spectre? It’s .338 projectile fired from a brass with the same base as 6.8SPC is fairly impressive on paper. Never shot one myself due to it’s uncommon nature.

      • Wow!

        A new cartridge needs new magazines, barrels, receivers etc. Not to mention a change in caliber means new brass extrusion, new bullets, new reloading equipment, etc. That is far more costly than a blackout and at mostly negligible power difference since if you really need more power, just stick with an LR308 M110. They want to use existing receiver so they don’t have to change all the small parts involved in the conversion.

  • Wang Chung Tonight
  • LGonDISQUS

    I can tell I’m too into rifle fashion when I see that m4, and think “ugh, quadrails?” *sigh*

  • Sledgecrowbar

    “We want someone to make us a G36 for the M4”. Or insert any other modern infantry carbine that doesn’t reciprocate into a buffer tube.

    There are a handful of options for this off the shelf now to convert an AR to operate without a full-length buffer tube, but none of them are as debugged as one of the newer factory offerings. SOCOM has a mountain of samples to decide what they want to use already, if they want an M4 in 300 AAC, they’re going to need to deal with the minimum overall length of an M4.

  • Avid Fan

    For when you really, really want a gun for taking over a hostile phone booth. I say give ’em 2-inch .38s and a good switchblade.

  • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

    heres a great question since the army has already developed a next gen 30 caliber bullet do you think they will spec out M80a1 bullets be loaded in to a 300blk case ????

  • int19h

    What does (T) and (O) mean?

    • Threshold and Objective.

      You have to meet the Threshold requirement, but the Objective is what they’d ideally like to see.

  • Shayne

    Sounds like they are asking for “Q” new Honey Badger 2. One competitor could be Troy Ind. PDW Tomahawk kit with a 6.5 blackout barrel with no muzzle device. The second competitor is Sig MCX AR upgrade kit with a 6.5 barrel that appeared in the MCX booklet.

    If I was guessing this is them asking for the Honey Badger again, while Troy and Sig can meet the requirement of length I have to wonder if they could meet the accuracy requirement or if it would be worth their time. This has a limited use and why not just get a proved design like the H&K MP7?

  • Will

    Gilboa APR in 300?

  • Huehue

    Inb4 “But muh 556” as I fully expect Nat will more likely post as he explains exactly why this must be the dumbest idea ever and it’s all exactly perfect right now, hence why they’re asking for PDW’s.

  • Connor Christensen

    Funny how SOCOM is going to a round that is a little worse than 7.62×39. I realize all the strengths to using all the existing parts and mags and stuff is a huge plus it’s just interesting that the x39 is considered the past, yet a very ballisticaly similar round is the future.

  • whamprod

    Re-enter the SCAR Light with a .300 blk conversion barrel?

  • kcshooter

    Whoever spec’d these requirements has no idea what they are talking about. The PDW upper is a totally doable concept, but not with these f/tard requirements.

  • Colonel K

    Arguably, the first PDW was the M1 (later M2) carbine at just over 5 lbs. Later came the M16’s little brothers, the CAR15/XM177/GAU/GUU series at between 5.3 – 6 lbs. Now we’re seeing a rehash of the 6.8 SOCOM debate in the guise of the 300 Blackout. Many of the same issues exist with this concept as with past PDW efforts: adding a new cartridge and caliber specific parts to the logistics pipeline, adding weight to the combat load due to the heavier bullet, changing ballistic trajectories which may require new sights or training techniques, and the lack of interoperability. But beyond these standard boilerplate issues is the question of why this firearm has to be so short and yet come with two caliber setups. Are both upper units required to be ultra short? If not, then why are both uppers required? What user requirements are driving this study?

  • I will be grateful to be proven wrong or to be pointed to deeper nuances. But isn’t increased adoption of (presumably often subsonic) .300 BLK by the US armed forces in fact a delayed reaction to the already developed and fielded Russian 9x39mm “special ammunition” concept, with relevant weapon platforms? I realize I’m not knowledgeable enough to even have an opinion on this, so I don’t.

  • Rusty

    MISTAKE, big mistake. The 6.8 SPC is a better cartridge. I know why they are going with the 300. They can use the same bolt and magazines as the .223.

  • jcitizen

    Geeze! They’re just getting around to this? I would have though something like that would have been requisitioned long ago. I’ve seem some kits on the market that meet some of the specs for quite a while now.

  • Richard Lutz

    Stupid idea. It is possible to chamber 5.56mm round in a .300 AAC chamber and blow up the rifle. What is wrong with the MK18? They should abide by the KIS principle and stick the 5.56mm round and the M4 and MK18. The US military has too many different types of weapons and does not need any more. Seems to me that the judicious use of B52 bombers will remedy most situations and the threat to deploying nuclear weapons.

  • LilWolfy

    There are specific and very marginal requirements for PDW-type weapons for SF units when doing boring tasks mostly that shouldn’t have the signature and burden of a standard shoulder-fired weapon dangling about.

    Additionally, carrying subsonic suppressed weapons for certain mission profiles, or having that tool can be valuable for a small, dismounted unit that has to deal with breaching obstacles, reducing certain targets on the objective, or chance encounters with potential hard compromise scenarios where a reduced sound signature is a major advantage.

    The Russians have had this capability with the VAL and VSS for decades, which are issued even to a few soldiers in infantry recon units at the Battalion level, as well as other special troops units at Regimental, Division, and other commando units.

  • hikerguy

    That would be an interesting twist (Bad pun, I know) with some updating. Maybe forget the swivel feature and use a folding grip up front and make it mid eject and that would fly. Oh…….another bad pun ?

  • Scott Gray

    Frontier Tactical check them out. New prices with quality parts for 2017